Uhuru gives executive order on new NHIF rules

Uhuru makes final decision

President Uhuru Kenyatta halts controversial NHIF rules for individual contributors

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday ordered the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) management to halt the new rules that were to kick off on January 1, 2020.

In a statement delivered from State House Mombasa, President Kenyatta noted that there was need for further deliberations before the rules are imposed on Kenyans.

"With regards to Kenya's health insurance, I'm aware of the proposed changes in the fees and structure of insurance benefits by the NHIF. Given my administration's commitment to provide affordable healthcare, I am today directing the Ministry of Health to immediately halt the implementation of this proposal to allow for further consultation," the President stated.

In an unprecedented move, President Kenyatta appointed former Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe to take up the health docket as the new Cabinet Secretary.

Kagwe is set to be vetted by the National Assembly before he is sworn in to replace Sicily Kariuki who has been reassigned to the Water docket.

NHIF new rules

NHIF introduced a number of new rules as the year begun with the most controversial being that a contributor will only be allowed to cater for one spouse and up to 5 children with their card.

"For medical inpatient and medical outpatient additional dependents shall be eligible for benefit after 30 days waiting period. This waiting period of 30 days will also apply in case of change of spouse," a memo from the insurer outlined.

Another rule that attracted opposition stated: "In case of default for 12 months and above, the affected member will start payment afresh and be eligible for benefits after 90 days from the date of resumption of payment in addition to a one year upfront payment, payable within the waiting period while observing due dates."

Among those who have been at the forefront in opposing the changes is the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU), a number of governors and MPs.

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